LIBERTY TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- Liberty Center opens Thursday, with Grand Opening Events lasting all weekend.
Liberty Center is a mixed-use complex located at the I-75 and SR 129 interchange in Liberty Township. It houses retail shops, restaurants, business offices, big box stores, apartments and a hotel.
Opening weekend events include live music, fireworks, children's events and wellness classes and programs.
We've covered Liberty Center's construction progress, and job opportunities online and on-air.
Here's everything you need to know about Liberty Center in preparation of Thursday's grand opening:
Movies with filet mignon, a wine bar, loveseats and frozen yogurt for dessert? You can try it out at the Cobb Luxury 15 & CinéBistro at Liberty Center. In addition to fine dining, the theater houses two state-of-the-art theaters with D-Box and Dolby Atmos technology. Basically, these are motion-controlled theater seats that move in sync with the movement of the film, and a 13-speaker system that offers sound effects side-to-side and from above. You can read more about The Cobb and check out our photo gallery here.
What about dining...without the movies? Fair enough. Liberty Center will also house a Brazilian steakhouse Rodizio Grill, Columbus-staple Northstar Café, Brio Tuscan Grill, Flipside burgers, Cantina Laredo, Kona Grill and the Cheesecake Factory -- needless to say, there's no shortage of eateries. Read more here.
And shopping? Of course! And they're not your run-of-the-mill strip mall shops or mall boutiques. Take, for instance, David’s Tea -- a Canadian company that sells over 150 types of teas. Also, Rookwood Pottery will open a third retail location at Liberty Center, its second outside of its factory and Gateway Quarter stores in Over-the-Rhine. Other tenants include Banana Republic, Build-a-Bear, Graeter's, Cooper's Hawk winery, Delhi Christmas Store, Ashcroft & Oak, Francesca's, Occasionally Yours, Celebrate Local and The Art of Shaving. More tenants will join in December, developers said, but here's some more on the stores we know right now.
Millennials, there's something for you, too. Liberty Center will have an H&M store, which will carry women and men’s clothing, and house a separate “store within a store” section for accessories, maternity, sport apparel and its plus sized line, “H&M +.” One of the developers said he hopes the store will cater to millennials, the generation of now-young professionals who he depicts as preferring Uber rides to car ownership. The Center's other millennial-friendly institutions include a chapel to be shared for church services and yoga classes, an urban garden, public art, green-roof apartments and a free-use “living room” that includes spacious seating and WiFi service with “one gigabit speed.” -- hopefully these fixtures will be enough that the Uber-loving generation might forgive the developer's broad generalization. Read more here.
Christmas displays will be off the hook. Shoppers, residents and basically anyone nearby will be able to control the color of the Center's holiday light fixtures with their iPhones. Developers announced this as another nod to millennials. Why so focused on millennials? Project managers said they want to create a “sense of place” that attracts millennials -- and the retailers eager to serve them. More on that here.
Dilliard's, however, didn't quite meet expectations. The department store will open at 155,000 square feet, about 20 percent smaller than expected. But developers said this isn't a problem, in their opinion, because the store will still be full of designer and premium brand names, including the region's first Tom Ford sunglass display, a MAC Cosmetics counter and a Kate Spade display. Here's some more on the store, and a link to our photo gallery.
What does Liberty Center mean to the people who live nearby? In brief, a lot of money and jobs. Butler County’s Liberty Center project will have an annual economic impact of $459 million, according to a University of Cincinnati study. UC estimates the construction of Liberty Center will generate a one-time impact of nearly $528 million, with 2,300 temporary jobs created. Plus, Liberty Center tenants will generate $318 million in sales by 2018 and shoppers will generate more than $2 million in increased sales taxes, according to the study. To read more and to see the full study, click here.
What about the jobs at Liberty Center? Of the 3,200 construction jobs created by Liberty Center construction, it looks like mostly Ohioans took jobs at the Liberty Township site. However, a license plate survey conducted by WCPO showed that a lot of out-of-state workers representing more than 20 states took on the jobs as well. Check out more on our survey -- and the economic impact on out-of-state-workers -- here.
But you can't rush perfection, project managers said. The grand opening was pushed back from the initial Oct. 8 date, with heavy rainfall cited as the largest factor in the delay. But snaps for Dick's Sporting Goods, which still opened on the original grand opening date. Here's the story for more information.
To view a directory map of the center, click here.
Liberty Center is located at 7100 Foundry Row, Suite 204, Liberty Twp., Ohio 45069.
To get there from I-75, take Exit 24 onto Liberty Way.